Early Language Activities

Using Everyday Objects for Language: Playground

Continuing with our series on using everyday objects for language. On Week 11 we will focus on all things playground and play equipment. We will have 4-5 activities and crafts to complete throughout the week. My goal is to keep it simple and use only items you likely already have or can substitute easily. Want to take a peek at what we’re doing?

Get the Packet

Get the packet HERE

In this packet you will find:

  • 8 Crafts/ Activities with 4 visual directions that make it easy for your child to follow along (and help retell after!)
  • 5 worksheets for additional practice/creativity
  • 4 DIY Playground/Backyard Games with 2 visual directions
  • Visual Rules/Directions to Play Ring Toss & Tic Tac Toe
  • Social Narrative: On the Playground
  • Visual Rules for Playground
  • Core & Fringe Word Lists for Playground Activities

Schedule

Monday: DIY Ring Toss

Tuesday: Homemade Bubbles & Bubble Wand

Wednesday: Block Paint Tower

Thursday: Swing Streamers

Friday: Slide Painting

Saturday: DIY Yard Tic-Tac-Toe

DIY Ring Toss

Materials Needed:

Directions

  1. Gather materials. Talk with your child about what you need. Go on a hunt using words like “We need something rectangular for the base. Now we need something tall and skinny for the pole. Last, we need something wide and round for the rings.” See if you can look through the recycle and find the items based on their description!
  2. Once you have your items, cut the bottom of the paper towel roll 4 times. This needs to be done by the parent or under parent supervision only. Either way, you can still practice language by saying “cut more/again” each time and counting to 4.
  3. Once you have cut the roll, fan it out and tape on top of the shoe box. Tell your child “put it on the box”. Then begin taping- I recommend packaging or duct tape. “Tape around the pole”. “More tape”. “Great! All done”.
  4. Cut out the rings. Again- this needs to be done by the parent or under parent supervision only. To use language with every cut “I go around”/’Cut more”/”Go again”.

Homemade Bubbles & Bubble Wand

Materials Needed for Bubbles:

  • Honey
  • Warm Water
  • Dawn Dish Soap
  • Measuring Cups
  • Visual Directions

Materials Needed for Wand:

  • Pipe Cleaner
  • Beads
  • Visual Directions

Directions for Bubbles

  1. Print off the visual recipe directions.
  2. Gather all ingredients. Let your child help you with this. Name the areas of your house you find each one in “Get the honey from the pantry. Now let’s get the soap off the sink. etc”. Set all up on the counter or table (“put it on the table/counter”).
  3. Read the visual directions all the way through out loud, pointing to each picture. If your child is using sentences point to each picture afterwards and have them tell you again what is going to happen (to practice task planning and organizing!).
  4. (Have water pre-measured if you don’t want to have to move locations) “Put 2 cups of warm water in”. Point out the 2 on the measuring cup, holding up 2 fingers. Then let your child test the water to learn “warm” (this would also be a great time to show the difference between hot, warm, and cold if your child’s attention span can handle it!).
  5. “Get the honey” If they don’t do it after a short pause, point to the honey and repeat direction.  “We need 1/6 cup. Get the measuring cup”. Help your child measure this out (I filled 1/3 cup half way). “Put honey in”.
  6. “Stir it together” Watch as the ingredients blend together. Talk about solid and liquids and the changes in water color as you stir.
  7. “Get the dish soap” If they don’t do it after a short pause, point to the dish soap and repeat direction. “We need 1/4 cup. Get the measuring cup”. Help your child measure this out. “Put dish soap in”.
  8. “Stir soap in SLOWLY”. (great opposite if you stirred the honey fast). “We don’t want bubbles yet!”
  9. Set aside to make the bubble wands (and give time for bubbles to settle).

Directions for Bubble Wand

  1. Print off the visual recipe directions.
  2. Gather all ingredients. Let your child help you with this. Name the areas of your house you find each one in “Get the beads from the art drawer. Now let’s get the pipe cleaners out of the drawer”. Set all up on the table (“put it on the table”).
  3. Read the visual directions all the way through out loud, pointing to each picture. If your child is using sentences point to each picture afterwards and have them tell you again what is going to happen (to practice task planning and organizing!).
  4. Point to first picture and say “Put ends together”. If they need extra help say “fold it”.
  5. “Twist the top”. “Look! We made a circle.”
  6. “Put ends together.”
  7. “Get beads.” If they don’t do it after a short pause, point to the beads and repeat direction. (It may help to limit the beads available)
  8. “Put beads on pipe cleaner” (make sure beads go through both ends). “Push it to the circle”.
  9. Add beads until only a small piece of pipe cleaner is left. “It is full!”
  10. “Bend pipe cleaner up” (this will hold the beads in place).
  11. Put your bubble wand in the bubble solution and get blowing!
Our favorite song/chant to sing with bubbles!

Block Painting: Playground

Materials Needed:

  • Paper
  • Washable Paint
  • Blocks (Wooden preferred but the plastic ones work too)
  • Helpful: Being at the playground or having a picture of one

Directions

  1. Gather all materials. Let your child help you with this. Name the areas of your house you find each one in “Get the paint from the art drawer. Now let’s get the blocks out of the living room”. Set all up on the (protected) table (“put it on the table”).
  2. If you are at a playground, spend a few minutes at the picnic table looking at it. Point out how the slide comes off a tower, the ladder, the see saw, a rock wall, etc. Talk about the shapes the structures make. If you’re at home, grab a picture and do the same.
  3. After you’ve talked about the playground itself grab the blocks and look at the shapes. Together brainstorm how you can use this to make a playground. Talk about the edges and angles. Come up with a plan together.
  4. “Get the paint”. Let your child squeeze some paint onto a plate/piece of cardboard.
  5. “Let’s build the tower first. Put the rectangle block in the paint”
  6. Continue using the same language and your plan until all pieces of the playground have been created.
  7. Set aside to dry and get back to playing!

Swing Streamers

Materials Needed:

  • Foam Paper
  • String
  • Paint/Stickers for decorating (paint will last longer outdoors)
  • Stapler or Hole Puncher
  • Visual Directions

Directions

  1. Print off the visual directions.
  2. Gather all materials. Let your child help you with this. Name the areas of your house you find each one in “Get the paper from the drawer. Now let’s get the stapler from the office. etc”. Set all up on the table (“put it on the table”).
  3. Read the visual directions all the way through out loud, pointing to each picture. If your child is using sentences point to each picture afterwards and have them tell you again what is going to happen (to practice task planning and organizing!).
  4. “Get Paper and Scissors”. If they don’t do it after a short pause, point to the paper and scissors and repeat direction. Decide together how many streamers you need. If your child is older you may even add measurement practice into this (length between chains and how wide each triangle will be).
  5. With parent supervision: “Cut 1 large triangle on each piece of paper”.
  6. Let your child decorate using whatever decorations you all decided on together. After have them describe their design if they can. If using stickers, this can be great labeling practice for younger children.
  7. “Staple string on triangle” (alternative “punch a hole on 2 corners of triangle” if using hole puncher).
  8. Add string.
  9. “Let’s take outside and hang up”.

Slide Painting

Materials Needed:

  • Slide
  • Paper (longer the better- a roll would be ideal)
  • Washable Paint
  • Balls or Marbles
  • Tape
  • 2 Tins (to hold paint to dip balls in and one to catch the balls at bottom of slide)

Directions

  1. Gather all materials. Let your child help you with this. Name the areas of your house you find each one in “Get the paper from the drawer. Now let’s get the balls from the playroom. etc”. Set all up by the slide.
  2. “Get the paper.” If they don’t do it after a short pause, point to the paper and repeat direction.
  3. “Get the tape.” If they don’t do it after a short pause, point to the tape and repeat direction. “Tape paper onto slide.” (Parent/Caregiver- You may need to help with this part.)
  4. “Get 1 tin.” When they have gotten the tin tell them “put it at the bottom of the slide”. If they don’t follow the direction, point to the bottom of the slide while repeated the direction.
  5. “Get 1 tin and paint.” If they don’t do it after a short pause, point to the paint and tins and repeat direction.
  6. “Squeeze paint into tin”. We used 3 colors and just put them next to each other in the tin. They mixed once we got started but that just added to the outcome.
  7. “Put/Dip ball into paint. Roll!” Repeat this step until your child is happy with the outcome.
  8. Remove paper from slide and hang to dry. Wipe down any paint that got on slide and wash of the balls. Make sure your child is involved in this part. An activity isn’t completed after all until everything is put away!

DIY Yard Tic-Tac-Toe

Materials Needed:

Directions

  1. Go on a nature hunt to look for the rocks and sticks. As you find rocks use descriptive words like “flat” and “wide” to describe the good rocks. It’s also great to label big vs. small and smooth vs. rough. For sticks: “find 4 long sticks”.
  2. When you return “put rocks and sticks on table.”
  3. Gather all other materials. Let your child help you with this. Name the areas of your house you find each one in “Get the paint from the drawer”. Set all up on table.
  4. “Get 5 Rocks”. Practice 1-to- Correspondence by counting and pointing to rocks at same time. “You have 5 rocks. What color should these be?” (I recommend choosing 1 for the x’s and 1 for the o’s for less clean up).
  5. “Get the paint (color of choice)”. “Squeeze some paint on plate”.
  6. “Get the wide paintbrush”. “Cover all of the rock with paint”.
  7. Paint all 5 rocks. Set aside to dry and “clean the paintbrush” before starting the next color (or just grab a second paintbrush)
  8. “Get 5 Rocks”. Practice 1-to- Correspondence by counting and pointing to rocks at same time. “You have 5 rocks. What color should these be?”
  1. “Get the paint (color of choice)”. “Squeeze some paint on plate”.
  2. “Get the wide paintbrush”. “Cover all of the rock with paint”. Continue to paint each rock.
  3. “All the rocks are painted. Now the need to dry”.
  4. (After rocks have dried). Let’s put “x” and “o” on the rocks. (Parents I recommend drawing each letter for a visual model as your child is learning the letter strokes).
  5. “Put an X (point to X you drew) on the 5 ________(color) rocks”. Again- count out the 5 rocks using 1-to-1 correspondence.
  6. “Put an O (point to O you drew) on the 5 ________(color) rocks”. Again- count out the 5 rocks using 1-to-1 correspondence.
  7. Set up the Grid: “Put 2 Sticks next to each other”. “Good. Now make the other 2 sticks go across”. “You made a grid!”
  8. Follow the visual directions to help your child learn how to play!

Other fun activities we did this week:

I hope you have enjoyed our week of all things playground and your child has expanded their vocabulary! If you want even more “worksheets” for your child to use during this week you can find my playground unit with additional activities, crafts, and worksheets HERE. Check out Playground Week Story Highlights on Instagram for more on each of these activities.

The packet includes visual directions for all activities and this additional vocabulary practice!

Our Favorite Books Related to the Playground:

Follow us on Instagram at @Languageandplaydates this week to see how we use these activities to increase language no matter your child’s age!

This is part of a 12 week series. Check out some of the previous weeks:

Want ALL of the packets with the visual directions? Grab the bundle HERE!

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